Turmeric root is one of those supplements that most people can benefit from implementing into their diets. From reducing inflammation in the body to decreasing oxidative damage to our cells to boosting brain function, the power of turmeric goes on and on. So what is it about turmeric that makes it so magical? It contains curcumin, a compound that “has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant.” (source)
Curcumin Health Benefits
Chronic inflammation in the body has been linked to almost all of the Western diseases, including “heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s and various degenerative conditions.” (source) Cutting down our chronic inflammation can play a big role in minimizing our risk for these diseases. Curcumin has been shown to do just that. In fact, curcumin’s anti-inflammatory effects seem to be almost as effective as some prescription anti-inflammatory drugs.
Another powerful benefit of curcumin is its antioxidant properties. We know that antioxidants are key in fighting back against free radicals which cause oxidative damage to our cells, damage which will eventually lead to aging and disease. In our modern world, and especially if you live in a big city, free radicals are difficult to avoid. We can take in free radicals through the food we eat and the air we breathe so the more antioxidants we can slip into our system to combat the damage these might cause, the better!
Curcumin also boosts our brain health, and we are all about brain health here at AGEIST. Curcumin increases a growth hormone in our brain called BDNF, which increases the growth of new neurons in the brain. Studies have linked decreased levels of BDNF in our brain to brain disorders like Alzheimer’s and depression. (source)
It’s important to note that if you want to get the powerful effects from curcumin, make sure you purchase a supplement that has high levels of it, as turmeric spice (like the one you may have in your pantry) actually does not contain all that much curcumin. Curcumin is also not absorbed fully on its own. To up the absorption into your bloodstream, pair your supplement with a few cracks of black pepper. Black pepper contains a compound called piperine, which helps your body to absorb curcumin. Your supplement may already have accounted for this and added piperine, so just check your label.
How can you implement more curcumin from turmeric into your diet? One way to get maximum benefits is to take a supplement. David’s favorite way of taking curcumin in his diet is by taking a heaping tablespoon of bulk turmeric with ground pepper in his morning smoothie. Always check with your doctor before adding in any new supplements.